Balancing an ultra-modern spa and club house with all the charm of its original 18th century building, this slick resort and spa has got plenty to write home about.
Add to this a stylish restaurant and a range of watersports and you’ve got a place that can cater to those looking for both romance and adventure.
Having just returned from a boozy yet surprisingly active 10-day trip to Croatia, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to recharge my batteries than the Lake District. Perched on the very edge of Lake Windermere, Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa couldn’t be in a more serene spot if it tried.
We checked into the brand-new Winander Club, which is set back from the rest of the resort and housed in a contemporary chalet-style building. No sooner had we stepped through the door, we were greeted by a friendly team member who wasted no time in pouring us a glass of Prosecco as we checked in.
This is the place you want to be if you want a little more exclusivity. As well as a private bar and breakfast area, there’s a rooftop terrace that offers up a stunning Lake Windermere vista. The rooms here are luxurious and understated, with chic grey panelling and flashes of rose gold.
Bathrooms are suitably luxe and come with oversized ESPA toiletries as standard. Upgrade to a duplex or club oak suite and you can enjoy a large freestanding stone bath, separate living room and balcony.
After a couple of drinks on the terrace, where even the grey weather could not spoil the view, we headed down for dinner. The Blue Smoke on the Bay restaurant is located in the new resort building, on the opposite side to the spa. Along with the Winander Club, this is all part of the resorts recent £20m revamp and you can see where every penny went.
The interiors here are impressive, with muted tones creating a cool, calming ambience throughout. The restaurant has a large focus on steak and seafood cooked in its wood-fired grill, but also offers a selection of tempting options for veggies and vegans.
For starters, we opted for the Lamb Kofta with a tomato salad tzatziki, red onion, cucumber and flatbread and the Slow Cooked Crispy Duck Leg. The latter dish was essentially a posher version of the classic Chinese takeaway appetiser and came served in a pancake with fresh chillies, cucumber and Hoi Sin. Both were delicious.
If you come to Blue Smoke with an appetite, then you won’t be disappointed as portions are huge. I enjoyed an excellent salt aged beef fillet, which came with a tasty blue cheese sauce and a side of Blue Smoke Chips. Across the table, my dinner date was tucking into possibly the largest Stuffed Sea Bass I’ve ever seen.
Served with a lemon and herb gremolata, new potatoes and tender steam broccoli, the fish was perfectly cooked and full of smoky flavours from the grill. We skipped a third course in favour of a round of Espresso Martinis. Liquid desserts are the way forward.
After a good night’s sleep, we were up bright and early for our treatment in the spa. I went with the Berry and Birch Tailor Made massage, which uses soothing essential oils to leave you feeling brand-new.
The treatment room was possibly the best I’ve seen and featured a huge brass bath and a corner snug. The whole experience made me want to go back to sleep but with breakfast to attend, this wasn’t going to happen. Breakfast at the Winander is worth the upgrade. Not only did we get the best service and a huge choice of dishes, but another great view of Windermere through the bars full-length windows.
We then spent the rest of the day lounging in the spa, which is up there with the best I’ve visited. Indoors, the thermal experiences range from salt room to herbal, with plenty of places to chill out. The main draw here though is the outdoor spa, which like much of the resort, takes full advantage of the lake view.
Friendly spa butlers are on hand to deliver drinks to the infinity pool, where you could easily spend a few hours unwinding. The large sauna set back from the pool is also worth a visit, as is the nearby jacuzzi.
If you’re looking to celebrate an anniversary or just need to recuperate after a hectic working week, you should consider checking into Low Wood Bay. It’s by no means cheap, but if unrivalled luxury is what you’re after, you’ll find everything you need and more here.
Low Wood Bay Spa & Resort, Ambleside Road, Windermere, LA23 1LP.